If you have children in the public schools, and probably many private schools nowadays, what they’re often learning about America, our history, traditions and values is most likely different than what you learned when you were in school. It gets harder to find a textbook that mentions the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence (refers to “Divine Providence—oops! Can’t have that!), or the Constitution.
In fact, one publishing house, Wilder Publications, recently came under strong (and much deserved) public ire when it placed this warning on its copies of the Constitution, the Declaration and other historical documents: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.” There are actually school districts across the country that are forsaking the teaching of most American history prior to the late 1800’s—so forget about kids hearing the stories of the lives of the early settlers, colonial era and revolutionary patriots and the sacrifice that it took to give rise to a new nation created for the purposes of religious, economic and personal freedom.
Is it any wonder that the average high school or college student doesn’t appreciate how unique and exceptional this American Experiment is? They aren’t taught that the way of the world in human history is NOT freedom to be and do what makes you and others happy. Rather, the trend is toward tyranny and oppression, and the United States of America, while not perfect, has been the exception. The United States and her people have been the ones to bring freedom to places where they’ve only known fear…hope for a better way of life where ruthless dictators have only brought hopelessness.
But if they’ve never learned about the greatness and core beliefs of their home country, the mistakes made and lessons learned by those that came before them, how can they ever know not to repeat the same errors? It’s not a surprise that people under 30 would fall under the spell of promises of hope and change, and would be more likely to embrace such things as socialism, globalism and being a “Citizen of the World”. All they hear, at school and from their political leaders, is that America and the free markets are to blame for all of the ills of the world. They are no longer taught that communism, Marxism, and socialism are evil ideologies that must always be defeated whenever they rear their ugly heads, in order for people to live in liberty.
But, the truth, as is often the case, can be found in the past. In 1948, Harding College released a nine and a half minute cartoon called “Make Mine Freedom”, that warned of the perils a society faces when they buy what the snake oil salesman has to sell. In language so easy your congressman could understand, it teaches the benefits that the free market capitalist economy has brought to the US and to those parts of the world willing to work towards that end.
I highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch (with your children if you have them), but here’s a brief summary in case you can’t. The snake oil salesman (Dr. Utopia) comes into a town of disgruntled inhabitants. He promises that if they will just sign on the dotted line (sign away their freedom) and take the bottle of ISM, all their problems will be solved. He promises higher wages, shorter hours and security. He tells them, “ISM even makes the weather perfect every day.” (Climate bill?)
The hapless townsfolk, desperate for change, are quick to follow Dr. Utopia, until John Q. Public steps into the angry crowd, bringing with him some common sense and rationality. When pressured to quickly sign on he says to Dr. Utopia, “Mind if I read it first?” (Imagine—reading something before you sign it!).
John Q. Public then gives the people a glimpse of the life they were so willing to sign onto, and warns them: “When anybody preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against the other through class warfare, race hatred or religious intolerance; you know that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives.”
Sound familiar? This cartoon could have been made in 2010, but it probably wouldn’t have been made by any college or university. Sadly, they (with very few exceptions) don’t believe in or promote the America that went from plowing the fields to walking on the moon in less than 200 years.
PS- A 2010 version and a 2008 version (pre-Obama election) are also out there…both worth watching. I didn’t link to the 2nd one from here because it wasn’t working at the time, but I know it works because I watched it.